Microsoft has officially launched XNA Game Studio Express and the XNA Creators Club, and announced a game design competition that will see one lucky person's creation published on Xbox Live Arcade.
XNA Game Studio Express is a suite of game development tools available for free to Windows XP users through www.msdn.com/XNA, while the Creators Club is a subscription-based Xbox service that allows you to try out your creations on the Microsoft next-gen console.
Those using XNA Game Studio Express will also be able to participate in the open beta for GarageGames' Torque X software, which supports drag-and-drop development for either platform.
Based on Visual C# 2005 Express Edition and Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, XNA Game Studio Express will also grant users access to thousands of game assets from Microsoft and its partners as well as white papers, starter kits, samples and technical support, providing users subscribe to the Creators Club, which is GBP 30.00 for four months of GBP 65.00 for an annual subscription.
Meanwhile, the Dream-Build-Play contest, set to launch in January, will see users competing to make the best game possible, with the promise of the winning entry receiving an Xbox Live Arcade publishing deal.